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Kevin McCarthy removed as House speaker in historic vote: Highlights

A handful of conservatives and all present House Democrats voted on a motion to vacate to remove McCarthy from the top post.

The latest on efforts to remove McCarthy as speaker:

  • The House of Representatives voted this afternoon to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from his position.
  • The House voted 216-210 to oust McCarthy, with a handful of conservatives joining Democrats to remove him. Seven members were absent.
  • It is the first time in U.S. history that a speaker of the House has been voted out of office. Here's what happens now
  • McCarthy told House Republicans he will not run for speaker again, clearing the way for a new leader.
  • Earlier this afternoon, McCarthy's allies forced a vote to try to kill Rep. Matt Gaetz's effort, but it failed, with nearly a dozen Republicans joining all House Democrats to keep the issue alive.
  • The House plans to leave for a week and will hold a speaker election next Wednesday.
3h ago / 3:13 AM UTC

Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's backing Trump for speaker

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said in a tweet tonight that former President Donald Trump is the only speaker candidate she's "currently supporting."

“We can make him Speaker and then elect him President!” she wrote.

Earlier today, Rep. Troy E. Nehls, R-Texas, said he plans to nominate Trump for speaker.

The speaker of the House does not need to be a member of Congress.

3h ago / 3:00 AM UTC

Pelosi accuses interim House speaker of ordering her to give up office in Capitol

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Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tonight accused new interim Speaker Patrick McHenry of kicking her out of her workspace in the Capitol just hours after the chamber’s abrupt change in leadership.

Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement that she was told she had to “immediately” move out of her so-called hideaway office in the Capitol.

“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, referring to McHenry, R-N.C., by his new title.

Most House members have their offices in buildings across the street, but Pelosi has had one in the Capitol because she is a former speaker.

Read the full story here.

4h ago / 1:49 AM UTC
4h ago / 1:46 AM UTC

Scalise: There is 'opportunity' to 'continue moving forward'

As Republicans left their meeting earlier tonight, many pointed to Scalise as a potential next speaker.

Scalise didn't refute that's a possibility. But he did acknowledge that the job won't be easy with a caucus that remains in a thin majority.

"So no matter who’s going to be the next speaker, the challenges still remain, but I think the opportunity is there to continue moving forward," he said.

5h ago / 12:57 AM UTC

Mitch McConnell praises McCarthy's 'unapologetic patriotism'


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., praised McCarthy in a statement tonight while acknowledging his nine-month tenure as speaker was "bookended by historic fights."

“The Speaker’s appetite for worthy causes steered a narrow majority to seize historic opportunities for the American people and for conservative principles," McConnell said. "His willingness to face the biggest challenges head-on helped preserve the full faith and credit of the United States and showed colleagues how to handle every outcome with grace."

McConnell also said McCarthy embodied qualities of "unapologetic patriotism" and optimism that would "remain a valuable guide” for the House.

5h ago / 12:41 AM UTC
5h ago / 12:38 AM UTC

McCarthy wraps news conference after more than 45 minutes

McCarthy held a lengthy, wide-ranging news conference tonight after he announced he would not run for speaker again.

The event with reporters lasted about 48 minutes and concluded with McCarthy saying that he felt "blessed" for having served in a variety of leadership roles before he became speaker this year.

"I believe in bringing new blood up and helping them, and I want to help them all the way," McCarthy said.

"Look, I enjoy you," he told reporters at the end. "I don't know if you'll cover me as much, but — I'm sure I won't miss you. But see you soon," he added with a smile before he turned to leave the podium.

6h ago / 12:20 AM UTC

‘I’m a free agent now’ in GOP primaries, McCarthy jokes

Asked whether he would support a primary challenger against any of the eight Republicans who voted to oust him, McCarthy said he’s now freer than he had been as speaker.

“When I was running for speaker, I said I couldn’t get involved in primaries,” he told reporters at a lengthy news conference tonight.

“But I told the [Republican] conference, I’m a free agent now, aren’t I? I think I’m pretty good at electing people,” he said.

McCarthy then gestured and said “but no” and appeared to be making a joke.

6h ago / 12:13 AM UTC
6h ago / 12:07 AM UTC

Trump advisers express skepticism he backed Gaetz’s push to oust McCarthy

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In the wake of the historic ouster of McCarthy as House speaker, there is growing intrigue around whether former President Donald Trump supported the move.

Gaetz led the push, which succeeded when eight Republicans joined with all 208 Democrats to boot McCarthy.

After the vote, Gaetz spoke with reporters and suggested that he had Trump's backing.

“My conversations with the former president leave me with great confidence that I did the right thing,” he said.

Read the full story here.

6h ago / 11:57 PM UTC

Gaetz argues McCarthy partnered with conservatives on 'frivolous' matters

After he suggested that he would not appear for a Fox News interview because of a meeting with the House GOP conference, Gaetz reversed course and doubled down on the move to boot McCarthy in an interview with the network tonight.

"We should get to electing a new, more conservative, more trustworthy speaker immediately," Gaetz told Fox News' Laura Ingraham. "This is not the time to go home for a week. We should stay and elect a new speaker."

Whip offices advised that there would be no House votes for the rest of the week in the aftermath of McCarthy's ouster.

Responding to criticism from some Republicans that Gaetz had worked with Democrats to remove McCarthy, Gaetz pointed fingers at McCarthy, insisting that he "was willing to partner with conservatives on the frivolous, but whenever there was a spending matter, he partnered with Democrats."

"That said, Speaker McCarthy’s time is over," he added.

6h ago / 11:56 PM UTC

McCarthy seems to dismiss question about whether he'd resign from Congress

McCarthy seemed to dismiss a question about whether he would resign from Congress in remarks to reporters tonight.

“I haven’t thought about that,” he said when he was asked.

6h ago / 11:43 PM UTC

McCarthy blames Pelosi, Democrats for his removal

McCarthy blamed Democrats for his ouster as speaker — arguing that they should have supported his remaining in the top role for institutional reasons.

McCarthy said he had a discussion with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the days he was trying to wrangle enough votes to get elected speaker. McCarthy claimed that Pelosi promised to support him if he faced a challenge.

McCarthy then argued that by joining Gaetz and other Republicans, Democrats picked politics over the institution.

Pelosi wasn't in Washington today; she remained in California for Sen. Dianne Feinstein's funeral.

6h ago / 11:37 PM UTC

McCarthy says government funding vote was for 'the troops'

McCarthy argued the spending bill that led to his ouster wasn't supported by Democrats, though more of them ultimately voted for it than did Republicans.

"It was all for the American people — I could not look the troops in the eye and say I could not pay them," McCarthy said.

He went on to tout his ability to reopen the Capitol after the Covid pandemic, saying he was proud to have opened the building to the public.

6h ago / 11:35 PM UTC

McCarthy: 'I don't regret standing up'

McCarthy said he doesn't regret passing a spending bill to avoid a shutdown over the weekend.

"I got elected to the seat I couldn’t get an internship for. I ended up being the 55th speaker of the House," he said.

But he said he doesn't regret the actions that led to his being removed.

"Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it is necessary," McCarthy said. "I don’t regret standing up for choosing governance over grievances."

7h ago / 11:33 PM UTC

House to leave D.C. for week, hold speaker election Oct. 11

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Members leaving the House GOP conference meeting said there will be a candidate forum for speaker next Tuesday and an election on Wednesday the 11th. 

Separately, the whip offices have advised that no House votes will be held for the rest of this week.

7h ago / 11:32 PM UTC

McCarthy begins remarks by quoting Lincoln

McCarthy, who is addressing the media, began by quoting Lincoln.

"I’ve always been excited that I’ve been a happy conservative, but I’ve always believed that I’ve been so fortunate that I’ve been an American," he said.

7h ago / 11:27 PM UTC

Rep. Troy Nehls says he'll nominate Trump for speaker

Rep. Troy E. Nehls, R-Texas, said in a statement that he plans to nominate former President Donald Trump for speaker of the House when the lower chamber reconvenes.

"This week, when the U.S. House of Representatives reconvenes, my first order of business will be to nominate Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives," he said.

Nehls added, "President Trump, the greatest President of my lifetime, has a proven record of putting America First and will make the House great again."

(The speaker does not need to be a member of Congress.)

7h ago / 11:22 PM UTC

Reminder: The House still has to avoid another government shutdown ...

The House is leaving until next week before it begins to really address the speaker crisis.

Keep in mind: It was supposed to be on a recess right now but canceled it to deal with the new deadline to fund the government. Now, it has effectively wasted as much as two weeks as a potential shutdown nears again in November.

And when it actually does start to deal with the budget, the next speaker is going to be forced to deal with a conservative wing on steroids after it disposed of McCarthy with relative ease.

This budget battle will get ugly. Quick.

7h ago / 11:20 PM UTC

House to adjourn until next week, Rep. Tim Burchett says

The House plans to adjourn until next Tuesday night, Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., said after he emerged from a meeting with House Republicans.

Burchett — who voted to oust McCarthy — said people in the meeting “were cheering for him, of course, and he graciously decided not to run again."

7h ago / 11:19 PM UTC

Gaetz misses Fox News appearance after ousting McCarthy

Gaetz missed a scheduled appearance on Fox News tonight, attributing his absence in a statement to the network to a GOP conference meeting after a "historic day" that led to McCarthy's ouster.

“I’m sorry I can’t join you tonight. I’m meeting with the House Republican Conference to chart our future. It’s been a historic day and our work is not done," he said, according to the network.

Gaetz was supposed to appear for an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, whose show airs at 7 p.m. ET.

7h ago / 11:15 PM UTC

Whip Emmer points to Scalise for next speaker

Asked whether he would seek the speakership, Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the Republican whip, instead pointed to Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana as a candidate for speaker.

"I’ve known for a long time he’d make a great speaker," Emmer said.

Emmer is among the candidates considered on the shortlist to replace McCarthy.

7h ago / 11:12 PM UTC

Stefanik: I'm not running for speaker

Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House, said after McCarthy's announcement that she will not seek to replace him.

"I'm not running for speaker," she said.

7h ago / 11:10 PM UTC

From lack of trust to GOP disunity: Mace and Barr explain votes

Reps. Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Andy Barr of Kentucky took to Fox News to explain their differing votes on ousting their fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy from the speakership.

Mace, who voted to remove him, implied McCarthy didn’t keep his word. “This is about someone that we can trust, someone who will keep their word,” Mace told Fox News’ Bret Baier.

When Baier noted that McCarthy had raised money for Mace in the past, she said, “I don’t owe anyone in Washington anything.”

Barr, who voted against ousting McCarthy, said today’s developments ruined unity in the Republican Party.

“Unity is our ally,” he said. “Disunity is the enemy of the conservative cause, and today is evidence of the fact that we have now given our majority to Hakeem Jeffries because we have refused to stay unified.”

7h ago / 11:08 PM UTC

Republicans left their conference meeting shortly after McCarthy's announcement

Multiple GOP members told us that McCarthy told his conference he would not run for speaker again. Members left the meeting after a few minutes, seemingly done for the night and unclear on the next steps.

7h ago / 11:06 PM UTC

'Good riddance' to McCarthy, says supporter of Jan. 6 defendants

In January, on the second anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, McCarthy secured his position as House speaker by promising to widen access to Capitol surveillance video, which figures on the far right believe would reveal a massive false-flag setup by the federal government.

In February, McCarthy provided video to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who aired selective clips to downplay the violence of the attack.

In March, as NBC News reported, McCarthy met with Micki Witthoeft, the mother of Ashli Babbitt, after Donald Trump criticized McCarthy for saying that the officer who shot and killed Babbitt "did his job" during the attack.

But there's no love lost between supporters of Jan. 6 defendants and former Speaker McCarthy.

“The feeling from our camp is good riddance,” Nicole Reffitt, the wife of Jan. 6 defendant Guy Reffitt, told NBC News. Reffitt was the first Jan. 6 defendant to go to trial; he was convicted and sentenced to seven years, which was (at the time) the longest sentence given to a Capitol attack defendant. 

"He made many promises, personally, to Ashli’s family that he never followed through on, and from our prospective, we need leadership that will make bold moves," Nicole Reffitt said.

7h ago / 11:01 PM UTC

McCarthy won't run for speaker again

McCarthy has told House Republicans that he will not run for speaker again as they meet to discuss a path forward, four sources said.

The full House Republican conference is meeting right now.

7h ago / 10:50 PM UTC

House Republicans are arriving to their evening conference meeting

House Republicans are starting to arrive for their closed-door conference meeting to discuss the path forward after McCarthy's ouster.

7h ago / 10:49 PM UTC

Democrats' leader, Jeffries, asks Republicans to work with them

Jeffries tonight asked for Republicans to work with Democrats after the historic vote to oust McCarthy.

“House Democrats will continue to put people over politics and work together in a bipartisan way to make life better for everyday Americans," Jeffries said in a statement.

“It is our hope that traditional Republicans will walk away from MAGA extremism and join us in partnership for the good of the country,” he said.

Jeffries earlier said Democratic leadership would vote yes on the motion to vacate the chair, supporting the effort to remove McCarthy.

In all, 208 of the 212 Democrats voted "yes"; the four others were absent.

7h ago / 10:35 PM UTC

McCarthy had challenged opponents to file motion to vacate


Gaetz noted after today's ouster that McCarthy had encouraged Republicans who were disgruntled with his leadership not to hold back in trying to remove him.

“We heard Speaker McCarthy say that he wanted us to ‘Bring it on!’ So I guess we did,” Gaetz told reporters after the successful vote.

Last month, McCarthy challenged his detractors to file a motion to vacate if they wanted to remove him, two sources confirmed at the time.

In a closed-door House GOP meeting last month, McCarthy told colleagues, “If you want to file a motion to vacate, then file the f---ing motion,” according to the sources, who were in the room.

7h ago / 10:34 PM UTC

Rep. Tom Cole says he has no plans to run for House speaker

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said in an interview that he doesn't plan to run for House speaker despite being well-liked by members of his conference.

"It absolutely will not be me," Cole told Fox News.

Cole, 74, chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, said tat he wants to hear what McCarthy has to say at an evening conference meeting behind closed doors tonight and that "that will influence whatever I do," he said.

"But I don't have any plans under any circumstances of running for speaker," Cole said.

8h ago / 10:31 PM UTC

Speaker McCarthy’s term was short; Theodore Pomeroy’s lasted one day

While McCarthy’s term as speaker was no doubt short — lasting a little less than nine months — he’s a veteran compared to the man with the shortest term ever.

Rep. Theodore Pomeroy of New York was speaker for one day in 1869, according to the House website that covers the history of the chamber.

He did so on the final day of that Congress because Speaker Schuyler Colfax had resigned to become vice president with President Ulysses S. Grant.

Pomeroy, a Republican, was elected March 3, 1869. He thanked members “for the kind personal consideration which is involved in my unanimous election to this most honorable position,” according to the House history website.

Another short-term appointee was Speaker Michael Kerr of Indiana, a Democrat, who was elected speaker on Dec. 6, 1875, and died on Aug. 19, 1876, or after a little more than eight months on the job, according to the House website.

The longest-serving speaker was Samuel Rayburn, Democrat of Texas, who held the job for more than 17 years (though not consecutively). He has a House office building named after him.

8h ago / 10:26 PM UTC

Tomorrow House was scheduled to vote on another funding bill


The House had been scheduled to spend tomorrow voting on a 2024 government appropriations bill to avoid another shutdown showdown in November, but it's possible Republicans will have to delay the vote because of the chaos over the speakership.

The upper chamber was scheduled to vote on the funding bill for energy and water programs, one of a dozen appropriations bills Congress has been working on for the fiscal year that began Sunday.

8h ago / 10:23 PM UTC

Biden hopes House will quickly elect a speaker, White House press secretary says

Biden hopes that the House will quickly elect a speaker because "the urgent challenges facing our nation will not wait," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

"The American people deserve leadership that puts the issues affecting their lives front and center, as President Biden did today with more historic action to lower prescription drug prices," she said.

She added, "Once the House has met their responsibility to elect a Speaker, he looks forward to working together with them and with the Senate to address the American people’s priorities."

8h ago / 10:10 PM UTC

Who is Rep. Patrick McHenry, speaker pro tempore?

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., was appointed as a temporary speaker (speaker pro tempore) after McCarthy was ousted this afternoon. The two are close allies.

McHenry holds one of the most powerful committee gavels in Congress as Financial Services chairman. The panel has jurisdiction over topics like banking, insurance, housing, international finance and money and credit.

McHenry, a former chief deputy whip under House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., helped pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

McHenry, 47, was first elected to the House in 2004, when he was 29, and is serving his ninth term.

Earlier this year, McCarthy tasked McHenry with negotiating the deal with the White House to raise the debt ceiling.

Some conservatives, however, hated the trillion-dollar debt and budget agreement, saying it didn’t go far enough to cut top-line spending levels, and they’ve privately blamed McHenry and Rep. Garrett Graves, R-La., who was also asked to work on the deal.

McHenry had praised McCarthy in a post Monday on X, formerly Twitter, saying McCarthy "delivered consistent, conservative leadership."

"We need his steady hand to make good on our Commitment to America," he wrote, criticizing the motion to vacate.

8h ago / 10:03 PM UTC

McCarthy's name still appears over the entrance to the House speaker's office


A plaque bearing McCarthy's name identifying him as speaker of the House is still hanging above the entrance to the House speaker's office.

Several U.S. Capitol Police officers are guarding the front entrance, with a crowd of reporters waiting outside for further developments.

8h ago / 9:49 PM UTC

Dem Sen. Manchin says McCarthy vote is 'sad for our country'


Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., called today’s vote to oust McCarthy a “sad day for our country” that sends a negative message to the rest of the world about American democracy.

Manchin, who is seen as a centrist and who frequently talks about the value of bipartisanship, said “it’s going to be hard” to govern without compromise.

“It’s a shame, first time in history, for us to be at this point where it’s almost a political sin to work with the other side,” he said.

“So, they have to patch it back together,” he said.

“Unless they come to an agreement that we’re going to run this place, and the shared value to a certain extent, trying to meet both sides a little bit halfway — It’s going to be hard,” he added.

8h ago / 9:47 PM UTC

GOP Rep. Don Bacon says Gaetz shouldn't be in Republican Party

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., blasted Gaetz this afternoon, telling reporters he didn't believe Gaetz should be serving as a member of the Republican conference.

"I'd love to have him out of the conference," Bacon said when he was asked about any potential action against Gaetz, who pressed for McCarthy's removal vote. "He shouldn't be in the Republican Party."

Bacon also said the effort by eight of his colleagues (including Gaetz) to vote alongside Democrats was "a vote for chaos."

"I think it hurts our country, our Congress, and Republicans will be weaker for this come around next November. And I thought the behavior of these folks are shameful," Bacon said. "We don't let eight people dictate to the rest of the conference."

Asked about whether McCarthy would make another bid for the speakership, Bacon said he has "said earlier he would never quit."

8h ago / 9:42 PM UTC

Meanwhile in the Senate, some speaker humor

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., just walked up to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., saying: “Hey Lindsey, you know you don’t have to be a member of the House to be chosen speaker."

“Yeah, but you gotta be sane,” Graham said.

Both had a chuckle.

“And I’m sane enough to say no,” Graham added.

8h ago / 9:39 PM UTC

Democrats will meet tomorrow morning


House Democrats will meet tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET in the aftermath of the historic vote that removed McCarthy from the speakership.

Republicans are meeting tonight, in about an hour.

8h ago / 9:37 PM UTC

Asa Hutchinson: Vote 'sets off alarm bells' as 2024 nears

Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson called the historic vote to oust McCarthy “a gift to Democrats” that jeopardizes elections next year.

“It sets off alarm bells as the 2024 election nears. There is hope across America, but Washington is broken. And today the GOP illustrated the dysfunction," Hutchinson said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Hutchinson, the former governor of Arkansas, did not qualify for the second Republican primary debate.

8h ago / 9:34 PM UTC

Connolly calls McCarthy's TV interview weekend before vote 'crushingly stupid'


Democrats this morning were shown a clip of McCarthy on CBS over the weekend trying to blame them for shutdown chaos, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said, calling it a clarifying moment for those in the party who might have voted to save him.

McCarthy's decision to blame Democrats on TV over the weekend was "one of the most crushingly stupid things somebody could do on the eve of your survival vote," he told NBC News this afternoon.

Connolly said he never considered voting to save McCarthy.

Of the potential for moderate Republicans and Democrats to join forces to elect a more moderate speaker, Connolly said it’s “probably not” realistic.

9h ago / 9:27 PM UTC

Former GOP Rep. Riggleman slams successor for voting to oust McCarthy

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman of Virginia slammed his successor and fellow Republican, Rep. Bob Good, for voting to oust McCarthy.

“The QAnon, crazy-adjacent guy who took me out because I did the gay wedding voted to oust McCarthy. And I’m, like, what a fricking sense of irony this is,” Riggleman said of Good.

Riggleman was elected to represent Virginia’s 5th District in 2018. He lost the GOP primary to Good in 2020 after having officiated a gay wedding. Following McCarthy’s removal from the speakership, Riggleman went after the Freedom Caucus.

“The crazies really do control the GOP right now,” he said.

9h ago / 9:27 PM UTC

Biden saw but didn't want to weigh in

Biden saw the developments today in the House, a White House official said, but he declined to weigh in on congressional politics.

“The president remains focused on delivering for the American people in meaningful ways, like the major action the White House announced today that will lower the cost of prescription drugs millions of Americans rely on," the official said.

9h ago / 9:15 PM UTC

'Are you guys nuts?' Senate Republicans criticize ouster


Some Senate Republicans criticized McCarthy's ouster when they were asked for their reactions this afternoon.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., told NBC News that the American people are thinking “Are you guys nuts?” in reaction to McCarthy’s removal as speaker.

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., characterized McCarthy’s removal as “detrimental,” and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., appeared to echo a similar sentiment, saying, “It stinks, and it’s not good for the country.”

9h ago / 9:15 PM UTC

House Republicans to meet at 6:30 p.m.

The House Republicans will meet behind closed doors at 6:30 p.m. ET to talk about what happens next.

9h ago / 9:13 PM UTC

Dem Pat Ryan challenges fellow New Yorkers in the GOP to back Jeffries

Moments after the House was thrown into speaker-less flux, embattled Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan of New York challenged New York Republicans to get behind Hakeem Jeffries as leader.

“Since the very first day of this Congress, it’s been chaos, division and dysfunction. We need real leadership to actually act on the priorities of the American people: delivering economic relief, defending our democracy, protecting reproductive freedom," Ryan said. "This is the moment for five Republicans to rise above the partisanship and unite with us as patriots who will move the country forward.”

New Yorkers on both sides of the aisle are widely seen as the majority make-or-breakers. That Ryan — a front-line Democrat himself — would throw the gauntlet at his fellow New Yorkers is notable, ratcheting up pressure for those GOP lawmakers to choose functionality instead of the chaos of recent months stemming from McCarthy’s speakership.

New York conservatives like Rep. Mike Lawler have been steadfast in their support of McCarthy and quick to denounce his naysayers.

9h ago / 9:13 PM UTC

Gaetz names others he could back for speaker, including ex-Rep. Zeldin

Surrounded by reporters, Gaetz says there are several candidates he could back for speaker, including McCarthy's No. 2, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La.

Also on the list are Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn.; Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas; Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla.; and former Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.

Zeldin left Congress in January after an unsuccessful run for governor of New York. It's important to remember the speaker of the House doesn't need to be a member of Congress.

9h ago / 9:07 PM UTC

Pence, informed onstage that McCarthy has been ousted, pauses

Former Vice President Mike Pence has been speaking at Georgetown University and was just informed by the moderator that McCarthy had been ousted.

Pence took a long pause. 

"Well, let me say that chaos is never America’s friend. And it’s never a friend of American families that are struggling. And I’m deeply disappointed that a handful of Republicans ... partnered with all the Democrats in the House of Representatives to oust the speaker," he said.

But, Pence said, he expects that the vast majority of Republicans will continue to back McCarthy in votes for speaker to come.

9h ago / 9:01 PM UTC

Gaetz says he won't run for governor of Florida in 2026

Asked by reporters whether he plans to run for governor of Florida in 2026, Gaetz said, "No."

9h ago / 9:00 PM UTC

Black Caucus members take a photo to mark the moment

Roughly 10 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (an all-Democratic group) gathered on the floor after the vote to take a photo together.

9h ago / 8:59 PM UTC

Gaetz to reporters: 'Turns out, getting 200 Republicans to trust you isn’t enough to stay speaker'

Gaetz told a large group of reporters on the steps outside the Capitol, "Turns out getting 200 Republicans to trust you isn’t enough to stay speaker."

9h ago / 8:57 PM UTC

McCarthy shakes hands and exchanges hugs after vote

McCarthy remained on the House floor after the vote, shaking hands with members and exchanging hugs.

9h ago / 8:55 PM UTC

McCarthy leaves House chamber

McCarthy left the House chamber and did not stop to talk with reporters on his way out.

9h ago / 8:50 PM UTC

9h ago / 8:50 PM UTC

'The office of speaker of the House of the United States of Representatives is hereby declared vacant'

Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., who was presiding over the House chamber during the vote, read the tally and said, "The office of speaker of the House of the United States of Representatives is hereby declared vacant." He then hit the gavel.

9h ago / 8:49 PM UTC

House in recess

Rep. McHenry gaveled the House into recess to allow the party caucuses to meet.

McHenry, a tight McCarthy ally, slammed the gavel down pretty hard.

9h ago / 8:48 PM UTC

Rep. Patrick McHenry now acting speaker

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has assumed the role of temporary speaker and is now overseeing the chamber.

9h ago / 8:46 PM UTC

It's over: McCarthy has been removed as speaker

This has never happened in U.S. history: The House just voted to remove its own speaker.

The House voted 216-210 to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., with a handful of conservatives joining Democrats to remove him. Seven members were absent.

What comes next? It's unprecedented. But for now, a temporary speaker pulled from a list of alternatives McCarthy compiled this year will take over. Read more about that here.

9h ago / 8:42 PM UTC

Clerk reading the names of those missing

After she made it through the alphabet, 11 members hadn't voted. The clerk is now reading their names again.

9h ago / 8:39 PM UTC

Gaetz appears to have the votes to oust McCarthy

Members can still change or add votes at the end, but Gaetz and Democrats have just crossed the 214-vote threshold. It appears they have the votes to oust McCarthy.

9h ago / 8:37 PM UTC

Rep. Victoria Spartz votes against motion to oust McCarthy

Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., who voted earlier against tabling the motion to vacate the speakership, voted against the motion to remove McCarthy.

9h ago / 8:35 PM UTC

Sen. Durbin calls House vote 'chaos'

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., commented on the House vote to oust McCarthy this afternoon, saying, “I don’t know how this story ends well for the American people, this kind of chaos."

9h ago / 8:35 PM UTC

The hallway outside the chamber is silent

The Will Rogers Hallway just outside the House chamber is eerily quiet, despite being packed.

Never experienced it like this.

9h ago / 8:33 PM UTC

Rep. Matt Rosendale is 8th Republican to vote to remove McCarthy

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., is the eighth Republican to vote in favor of the motion to vacate the speakership.

10h ago / 8:31 PM UTC

Dem Rep. Frederica Wilson has returned for this vote

Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., is back at the Capitol now and will be at votes, per her office.

That means only four Democrats are absent, but the math stays the same: McCarthy would still need 214 "no" votes to defeat the motion to vacate.

10h ago / 8:27 PM UTC

Former VP Pence backs McCarthy, says 'I don’t miss being in Congress'

At Georgetown University, former Vice President Mike Pence just addressed the motion to vacate vote taking place on Capitol Hill and indicated support for McCarthy.

"I think what you’re witnessing is a handful of Republicans partnering with Democrats in Congress to create chaos and oust a sitting speaker of the House," said Pence, who is from Indiana and spent 12 years in the House. "And it’s — I must tell you, this is one of the days that I don’t miss being in Congress."

"The truth is, truth is the chaos that we’re seeing on Capitol Hill today is just one more reason why the American people want to see new leadership. ... This is a very difficult time in the life of our nation," he continued.

10h ago / 8:25 PM UTC

7th Republican: Rep. Nancy Mace votes to remove McCarthy

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., voted in favor of the motion to vacate the speakership.

10h ago / 8:22 PM UTC

Six Republican votes spell trouble for McCarthy

Any member can change their vote before the process is over — but with six Republicans voting to remove McCarthy, he appears headed for a certain defeat.

10h ago / 8:18 PM UTC

Rep. Paul Gosar votes against removing McCarthy

Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, just voted against ousting McCarthy as speaker.

10h ago / 8:17 PM UTC

Sixth Republican: Rep. Bob Good votes to oust McCarthy

Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., voted to vacate the speakership.

10h ago / 8:15 PM UTC

Gaetz votes to oust McCarthy

In no surprise, Gaetz, who filed the resolution for the motion to vacate the speakership, voted "yes." He is the fifth Republican to do so.

10h ago / 8:15 PM UTC

McCarthy seated with deputy chief of staff

As the votes are tallied, McCarthy is sitting with John Leganski, his deputy chief of staff. He also sat with Leganski during votes when he ascended to the speakership in January.

10h ago / 8:12 PM UTC

Gaetz should need 214 votes to oust McCarthy

A majority of whoever is present for this vote is needed to oust McCarthy. Based on the absences we've seen today, the magic number should be 214.

10h ago / 8:10 PM UTC

Rep. Eli Crane is the 4th Republican to vote to oust McCarthy

Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., was the fourth Republican to vote in favor of the motion to vacate the speakership.

10h ago / 8:08 PM UTC

Rep. Lauren Boebert opposes McCarthy ouster

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, voted against Gaetz's effort to oust McCarthy as speaker.

10h ago / 8:06 PM UTC

Rep. Burchett becomes third Republican to vote to remove McCarthy

Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., became the third Republican to vote against McCarthy.

10h ago / 8:06 PM UTC

Rep. Ken Buck votes to oust McCarthy

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., voted "yes" on the motion to vacate the speakership. He had not announced his position before the vote began.

10h ago / 8:04 PM UTC

Rep. Andy Biggs is first Republican to vote to oust McCarthy

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., former chairman of the Freedom Caucus, voted to oust McCarthy from the speakership.

10h ago / 8:02 PM UTC

The vote to oust McCarthy is starting now

Members are voting; a majority is needed to remove McCarthy from the office of speaker.

The vote is taking place in alphabetical order. Members will each have their name called and will shout out their vote. It's a "yea" against McCarthy (to declare the office of speaker vacant) and a "nay" to keep him in his job.

10h ago / 8:01 PM UTC

Stefanik argues Republicans 'strongly support' McCarthy as speaker

Rep. Elise Stefanik, the GOP conference chair, delivered remarks boosting McCarthy, suggesting on the House floor this afternoon that Republican members "strongly" support him in spite of efforts by Gaetz to undermine his leadership.

"This boy from Bakersfield, he cares deeply about his constituents, his country and the American people, and that includes each and every one of his colleagues," Stefanik said of McCarthy, adding that he had supported milestones with his members, and "cheered" for them at moments when "we haven't believed in ourselves."

"Now more than ever, the Republicans must unify; the stakes are too high," Stefani added. "We need to save our country, which is why this conference is proud to strongly support Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House."

10h ago / 7:59 PM UTC

GOP Rep. Armstrong makes closing argument for keeping McCarthy

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., made a closing argument for the McCarthy side.

"Democracy is supposed to be hard. ... The alternative is a closed-door process where 2000-page bills come out of the speaker’s office at midnight and are forced to the floor the next morning. Kevin McCarthy has broken that cycle. That alone is enough for him to remain our speaker," Armstrong said.

"But that doesn’t deliver his opponents what they crave the most: attention," he added.

10h ago / 7:56 PM UTC

Close McCarthy friend, Rep. Graves, yells at conservatives

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., a close friend of McCarthy's and one of his top lieutenants, is essentially shouting on the floor right now.

"I keep wondering what is going on — are we redefining what conservative is? What’s going on in this country today? What’s going on in this body? We have FreedomWorks, Heritage, Chip Roy and Jim Jordan say something’s conservative and these folks say it’s not."

"And all of a sudden my phone keeps [getting] text messages," Graves continued, holding up his phone to show fundraising emails from members who oppose McCarthy. "Text messages saying, 'Hey, give me money.' Oh, look at that. ... It’s disgusting. It’s what’s disgusting about Washington."

Graves helped negotiate the debt ceiling deal that Gaetz called McCarthy's "original sin," leading to this motion to vacate.

10h ago / 7:48 PM UTC

Looks like the vote will start around 4 p.m. ET

McCarthy's side has about 7 minutes left to debate, while Gaetz's has 5 ½. It'll take a little longer than that, so we're tracking for potentially 4 p.m. ET for the motion to vacate vote to begin

10h ago / 7:35 PM UTC

Some Dems have heard from GOP members asking them to save McCarthy

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A handful of moderate House Democrats have received calls from Republicans asking them to vote to save McCarthy’s job, four sources familiar with the calls tell NBC News.

One source describes those calls as “begging," while another described the calls as “temperature taking.”

We have not yet heard of any Dems getting this kind of outreach directly from McCarthy himself. As of now, Democrats are steadfast in their opposition, though. 

11h ago / 7:32 PM UTC

Republican says removing McCarthy would move House 'to the left'

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., warned fellow Republicans that if they remove McCarthy, it will empower Democrats and “this House will shift dramatically to the left.”

He says such a move would “effectively neutralize the House Republican majority” they secured in 2022.

11h ago / 7:30 PM UTC

Conservative Rep. Massie, who has opposed past speakers, backs McCarthy

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who has a history of opposing Republican speakers, said he supports McCarthy because he has given regular order a chance.

“If regular order fails today — if you vacate the speaker, nobody is going to try it again. This institution will fail,” Massie said. “Please do not vacate the speaker.”

11h ago / 7:28 PM UTC

Ramaswamy: 'Stop focusing on the who'

Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican candidate for president, criticized the fight in the House.

“We have a $33 trillion national debt problem," Ramaswamy said in a statement. "We need to stop focusing on the who and start focusing on actual solutions”

11h ago / 7:27 PM UTC

The vote on ousting McCarthy could take 45-55 minutes

Looking back at past alphabetical roll call votes via voice, like the one the House will take on ousting McCarthy, each took about 45-55 minutes. So that's the timeline we're looking at for this vote.

11h ago / 7:25 PM UTC

Jordan defends McCarthy: 'I think he has kept his word'

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan defended McCarthy on the House floor, insisting that the the California Republican had been consistent in following through on his commitments as speaker.

"On Jan. 3, we said 218th Congress is about three things: Pass the bills that need pass, do the oversight work that needs to be done, and stop the inevitable omnibus that comes from the United States Senate right before the holidays. Kevin McCarthy has been rock solid on all three," Jordan said.

The comments pushed back on claims by Gaetz that McCarthy had failed to deliver and Republicans were losing momentum.

"We have done what we told them we were going to do," Jordan added. "I think the speaker has kept his word. I know my colleagues and friends are saying different, I think he has kept his word on those three things that we talked about on Jan. 3, and frankly, that entire week. He has kept his word. I think we should keep him as speaker."

11h ago / 7:22 PM UTC

Sen. Tim Scott: Gaetz is 'polarizing' and doing 'damage' to the party

Sen. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican running for president, was critical of Gaetz's bid to oust McCarthy.

"Gaetz is really a polarizing figure in the party and does a lot of damage with his thoughts and his comments," Scott said Tuesday. "And apparently this vote is going to just either further the divide within the Republican construct in the House, it’s not helpful."

11h ago / 7:17 PM UTC

Democrats urge members to vote 'yes' to vacate speakership

In a notice to all Democrats, the party's whip, Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, urged her party to vote "yes" on the motion to vacate and oust McCarthy.

She told her members the vote is expected around 4 p.m. and will be done via a roll call — so each member's name will be called and they will need to vote out loud.

11h ago / 7:16 PM UTC

Gaetz, notably, knocks Jim Jordan on oversight

Gaetz hit Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, saying: "It is difficult to champion oversight when House Republicans haven’t even sent a subpoena to Hunter Biden," adding that it "sort of looks like failure theater."

That's a notable hit. Oversight is basically the reason to exist for the House GOP, which cannot make laws with a Democratic Senate and White House.

11h ago / 7:13 PM UTC

Gaetz lays out argument for ousting McCarthy as speaker

Gaetz argued on the House floor that he doesn't think that voting to oust McCarthy should be considered "chaos" in Congress when the country is in debt and the House and Senate often don't pass all government funding bills individually, instead passing massive packages at the last minute that members don't have time to read.

"I think the fact that we have been governed in this country, since the mid-'90s, by continuing resolution and omnibus is chaos, and the way to liberate ourselves from that is a series of reforms to this body that I would hope would outlast Speaker McCarthy's time, would outlast my time here," he said.

Gaetz said that Republicans lost the momentum the House had a few weeks ago when they were voting on individual spending bills on the floor, "staying late at night, working hard."

"That's what the American people expect. It's something Speaker McCarthy hasn't delivered. And that's why I've moved to vacate the chair," he said.

11h ago / 7:03 PM UTC

Arkansas congressman presides over divisive GOP fight — again

Arkansas GOP Rep. Steve Womack is presiding over the House floor debate, and it's not the first time he's held the gavel amid a divisive GOP fight.

Back in 2016, Womack was serving as the chair of the Republican National Convention as delegates opposing Donald Trump's nomination as president tried to wage a last-ditch attempt to alter the convention rules. Shouting broke out on the convention floor, but order was eventually restored. Womack told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the ordeal was "total chaos."

11h ago / 7:02 PM UTC

Rep. Cole, whose motion to table just failed: Don't 'plunge us into chaos'

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., a top McCarthy ally who tried unsuccessfully to block Gaetz's effort, is the first to speak on the pro-McCarthy side.

"I recognize that my friends on the other side have a very complex set of partisan, personal and political calculations to make — and I certainly wouldn’t presume to give them any advice about that," Cole said. "But I would say, 'Think long and hard before you plunge us into chaos. Because that’s where we’re headed if we vacate the speakership.'"

Cole received big applause and a standing ovation from almost the entire GOP side of the chamber as he finished speaking.

11h ago / 7:01 PM UTC

Here are the 11 Republicans who opposed the motion to table effort to oust McCarthy

The 11 GOP lawmakers who voted with Democrats to vote against the motion to table the motion to vacate the speakership were:

  • Rep. Andy Biggs, of Arizona
  • Rep. Ken Buck, of Colorado
  • Rep. Timothy Burchett, of Tennessee
  • Rep. Eli Crane, of Arizona
  • Rep. Warren Davidson, of Ohio
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz, of Florida
  • Rep. Bob Good, of Virginia
  • Rep. Nancy Mace, of South Carolina
  • Rep. Matt Rosendale, of Montana
  • Rep. Victoria Spartz, of Indiana
  • Rep. Cory Mills, of Florida
11h ago / 6:57 PM UTC

Lots of people on the floor right now, and that's unusual

Important to note: The House floor is typically sparsely attended during floor debate on bills. Right now, almost every seat is taken and members and staff are standing in the back of the chamber.

Plus, the galleries are almost full with tourists and staff.

11h ago / 6:55 PM UTC

GOP Rep. Good lists conservatives' grievances with McCarthy

Going all the way back to McCarthy's 15-round fight for the speaker's gavel in January, Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., is listing the many ways conservatives feel betrayed by him.

That includes the debt ceiling deal McCarthy made with President Joe Biden and the recent CR that kept the government open but lacked the major spending cuts conservatives had pushed for.

Good is the first to speak in this debate period before a vote on the motion to overthrow McCarthy.

11h ago / 6:50 PM UTC

One hour of debate divided between two sides

There will now be one hour of debate — 30 minutes controlled by Gaetz and 30 minutes by Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., an ally of McCarthy.

11h ago / 6:48 PM UTC

Boebert pauses, but votes with McCarthy

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., in the back of the room, just waited until the last minute to vote yes to table and kill Gaetz's effort.

She faces a tough re-election next year.

11h ago / 6:48 PM UTC

McCarthy procedural effort to stop removal process fails

McCarthy allies tried to stave off the motion to vacate by using their own procedural move — a motion to table.

The vote was 208-218, with 11 Republicans joining 207 Democrats.

A combination of Republicans and most Democrats voted together to block McCarthy and his allies.

11h ago / 6:47 PM UTC
11h ago / 6:47 PM UTC

Rep. Cory Mills joins Republican 'No' votes

Rep. Cory Mills, a freshman Republican from Florida, joined the Republicans opposing McCarthy and became the 11th party member to oppose the speaker.

11h ago / 6:47 PM UTC

Gaetz sits with Democrats, as motion to kill his effort is on the brink of failing

Gaetz and a big chunk of the no votes are sitting together on the Democratic side of the chamber, just over the center aisle toward the back.

The motion to try to kill Gaetz's effort is on the brink of failing, with 11 Republicans now voting with all Democrats present to keep it alive.

11h ago / 6:42 PM UTC

So far, 10 Republicans vote against McCarthy

So far, 10 Republicans have voted on the procedural vote in opposition of McCarthy — any of them could change their vote and others could still join them.

The 10 are:

  1. Biggs
  2. Buck
  3. Burchett
  4. Crane
  5. Davidson
  6. Gaetz
  7. Good
  8. Mace
  9. Rosendale
  10. Spartz
12h ago / 6:32 PM UTC

The House is voting on whether to table for now Gaetz's effort to oust McCarthy

McCarthy and his allies have called for a vote on a "motion to table" Gaetz's effort. They'll need a majority vote.

If successful, Gaetz's attempt to overthrow McCarthy will be dead for now. But he's threatened to keep trying.

The motion to table the vote was brought by McCarthy ally Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. They should need 214 votes to get a majority and table Gaetz's effort (there were 426 members of the House voting on the last vote, but new absences or members who decide to vote present could change that count).

12h ago / 6:30 PM UTC

Ex-Speaker Pelosi, grieving Dianne Feinstein, will not make the vote

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will not make these votes as she's in California to participate in memorials for the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a spokesperson said.

“She is very saddened not to be there for this historic vote," spokesperson Aaron Bennett said, going on to quote Pelosi in saying: "The Speaker of the House is chosen by the Majority Party. In this Congress, it is the responsibility of House Republicans to choose a nominee and elect the Speaker on the Floor. At this time there is no justification for a departure from this tradition."

12h ago / 6:23 PM UTC

GOP Rep. Ken Buck signals he may vote against McCarthy too

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., suggested he may be the seventh Republican to vote to oust McCarthy, writing on X that the speaker "has repeatedly broken his word both to the American people and to members of Congress."

12h ago / 6:21 PM UTC

McCarthy is here now

McCarthy walked onto the floor a few minutes ago and went directly into the House GOP cloakroom.

He has since emerged and is chatting with some of his staff members on the floor.

12h ago / 6:20 PM UTC

Some tough math problems for McCarthy today

It's difficult to say exactly how many votes Gaetz will need to remove McCarthy from his job today. That's because a motion to vacate the speaker's chair needs a majority vote of the members of the House floor; a number that can fluctuate a bit.

Based on an unrelated vote this afternoon, there are 426 members here today. That means a simple majority would be 214.If that number holds, 214 members would need to vote to declare the speaker's chair vacant. And if McCarthy's allies try to avoid that vote altogether, as they're expected to do soon, they'll need the support of 214 members as well.

12h ago / 6:15 PM UTC

McCarthy stops briefly on his way into House chamber

McCarthy just stopped briefly in the hallway to talk to reporters before entering the chamber — seeming to dismiss the challenges against him as the same people who opposed him in January.

12h ago / 6:11 PM UTC

Dem leaders are huddling, as some in the party cast paper ballots to slow things down

House Democratic Leader Jeffries is up in the well of the floor huddling with Whip Katherine Clark and about 10 other Democrats.

Some Democrats have been voting by paper ballot today, which slows the process down because they have to write down their vote and hand it to the clerk. They did this on Saturday, too, to delay getting to the short-term bill to prevent a shutdown as they tried to figure out if McCarthy had slipped any problematic provisions in there. (He hadn't and they voted for it.)

Not all Democrats are voting by paper right now, but a good chunk.

12h ago / 6:01 PM UTC

Trump post appears to jab effort to oust McCarthy as speaker

After ignoring reporters' questions about McCarthy's fate earlier today in Manhattan, Trump took to his Truth Social platform where he appeared to weigh in on the matter.

“Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves, why aren’t they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country?” he wrote in a post.

12h ago / 6:00 PM UTC

Some Republicans huddle with Gaetz on House floor


During the current vote series on the House floor, Gaetz was sitting with Reps. Lauren Boebert, of Colorado; Eli Crane, of Arizona; and Ken Buck, of Colorado.

Florida Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat, joined in on the conversation, as did Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.

12h ago / 5:55 PM UTC

GOP Rep. Byron Donalds says 'there's really not been a large discussion amongst members about this procedure'

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., who has been floated as a replacement for McCarthy if he’s ousted, decried the effort to remove him as speaker as “premature.”

“We have about 43, 42 days to finish the appropriations process and to take up a floor time to do this -- it’s just a wrong way to go,” Donalds said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Chris Jansing Reports.” 

“Secondarily, there’s really not been a large discussion amongst members about this procedure,” he added. “I know the rule where one member can trigger it, and I do agree with that rule as it exists, but it really has -- in my view, how it really is supposed to work is -- you have that discussion with a lot of members to see if you can build support for that. That’s not occurred as well.”

Donalds then said he is “going to be voting not to vacate.”

12h ago / 5:54 PM UTC

GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale says he plans to support motion to oust McCarthy

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., said this afternoon in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that he plans to vote in favor of the motion to vacate the speakership.

"Unfortunately, Kevin McCarthy violated his promise to the American people and the Republican Conference by working against them repeatedly and supporting ploys to aid the Left," he tweeted.

"This demonstration of failed leadership is exactly why I plan on supporting the motion to vacate this afternoon," he wrote.

12h ago / 5:43 PM UTC

Trump ignores shouted questions about McCarthy


The former president ignored a few attempts by reporters in Manhattan to ask Trump about McCarthy.

Trump is attending the second day of his civil trial in New York.

12h ago / 5:41 PM UTC

McCarthy is on the ropes. Here are some possible successors.

It’s far from certain Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., can successfully topple House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, but that hasn’t stopped early speculation on Capitol Hill about who could succeed him in the top job.

There is no consensus on who might be able to fill a potential vacancy in the speaker’s office, and if McCarthy, R-Calif., is deposed the House GOP could spiral into total chaos. All of his lieutenants have pledged their support for him, and the speaker’s allies argue there is no one else who can secure the 217 votes needed to be elected on the House floor.

That being said, there is no shortage of ambition in the halls of Congress. In the event McCarthy is overthrown, someone would either need to run for the job and win or be reluctantly drafted into the role, like Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was eight years ago. 

Here are some Republicans to watch — as speaker candidates or influencers in the battles. Read the full story here.

12h ago / 5:38 PM UTC

Jeffries: Democrats remain 'unified in our commitment'

While Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries didn’t explicitly urge members of his caucus to vote with leadership, he said that Democrats remain “unified in our commitment to put people over politics, continue to build a healthy economy and make life more affordable for everyday Americans.”

Jeffries listed a handful of reasons why Democrats shouldn’t feel obligated to save McCarthy, arguing that the GOP majority has restructured the House “to empower right-wing extremists, kowtow to their harsh demands and impose a rigid partisan ideology.”

The Democratic leader also argued that lawmakers in his party have worked on a bipartisan basis to resolve major crises such as the latest debt ceiling debacle and preventing a government shutdown.

“The vote that the House will cast this week in connection with a Motion to Vacate the Chair is not about any one individual,” he wrote. “Our responsibility as Members of Congress relates to the Constitution, the principle of good governance and the people we are privileged to serve. Nothing more, and nothing less.”

13h ago / 5:33 PM UTC

Jeffries says Democratic leaders will vote yes on the motion to oust McCarthy as speaker

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said in a letter to his rank-and-file members that Democratic leaders will vote yes on the motion to remove McCarthy as House speaker.

"House Democrats remain willing to find common ground on an enlightened path forward. Unfortunately, our extreme Republican colleagues have shown no willingness to do the same. It is now the responsibility of the GOP members to end the House Republican Civil War," he wrote.

Jeffries continued, "Given their unwillingness to break from MAGA extremism in an authentic and comprehensive manner, House Democratic leadership will vote yes on the pending Republican Motion to Vacate the Chair."

13h ago / 5:31 PM UTC

Democrats outraged after watching McCarthy's interview from this weekend

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., told reporters that Democratic leadership played Speaker McCarthy’s comments on CBS's "Face the Nation" this weekend at the beginning of the party's meeting this morning. During that appearance, McCarthy pinned some blame on Democrats for the shutdown crisis last week, saying Democrats wanted to shut down the government.

"I would say his performance was a very clarifying event for Democrats, Connolly said, adding that "there was outrage about what he had to say."

13h ago / 5:31 PM UTC

Rep. Dan Meuser says Gaetz will 'never be speaker'

Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., expressed frustration with Rep. Gaetz for trying to oust McCarthy, saying on MSNBC that the Florida Republican would "never be speaker."

He said Democrats should not contribute to Gaetz's effort.

"I hope some Democrats perhaps pull out of the mandate they get from their leadership" and join Republicans in keeping McCarthy, Meuser said.

13h ago / 5:06 PM UTC

What happens next if Kevin McCarthy is ousted as speaker of the House?

First, a temporary speaker would take over

If a majority of the House votes to adopt Gaetz’s resolution, the Office of the Speaker would be declared vacant. This would not immediately trigger a new speaker election, however, because of a succession list McCarthy, R-Calif., submitted to the House clerk in January. That list isn’t public.

Since 2003, House rules have required the speaker to submit a list of names to the clerk of members to act in the case of his or her vacancy.

The House would be in uncharted territory

If the motion to vacate is successful, it would be the first time in U.S. history that a speaker of the House has ever been voted out of office.

How quickly could the House move to elect a permanent speaker?

That is also unclear. House rules do not lay out how long the speaker pro tempore can remain in power before the chamber votes on a new permanent speaker. The House could proceed directly to the election of a new speaker or decide to hold it at a later time.

Who would be McCarthy’s temporary replacement?

The short answer is: We don’t know, but there are some hints. Among them: Reps. Patrick McHenry and Richard Hudson of North Carolina; Rep. Adrian Smith, of Nebraska; Rep. Robert Wittman, of Virginia; Rep. Andy Harris, of Maryland; and Reps. John Joyce and Guy Reschenthaler, of Pennsylvania.

13h ago / 4:41 PM UTC

How the vote is expected to work

Unless McCarthy's allies succeed in stopping it, the vote to overthrow him as speaker this afternoon is expected to be done roll call style — where they call each member's name individually, according to an aide to the speaker. There could be up to an hour of debate on that motion to vacate the speaker's chair.

13h ago / 4:35 PM UTC

Here's what we know about the schedule


At 1:30 p.m. ET the House will vote on to advance an unrelated measure (funding for energy and water programs). This will be billed as a 15-minute vote but, like many House votes, it could take 30 or more minutes — especially if they hold it open for McCarthy and his allies to talk to members.

Then, McCarthy's allies will bring up a "motion to table" — that is to set aside Gaetz's motion to remove McCarthy. If they are able to get a majority to support the motion to table, then this is over for today and McCarthy keeps his job for now. (Gaetz, however, has suggested he'll make more motions to overthrow in the future.)

But if that motion to table fails, the House will vote on Gaetz's actual motion to remove McCarthy (called a "motion to vacate"), with a bit of time to debate it. A majority vote would then overthrow McCarthy as speaker.

They're expected to be done by 2:10 p.m. ET, according to a note put out by Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn.

14h ago / 4:29 PM UTC

Democratic Rep. Kuster: McCarthy has proven he's 'not trustworhty'

Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., who chairs the center-left New Democrat Coalition, called McCarthy "untrustworthy" in a statement, suggesting the group will oppose him.

"You are only as good as your word — and time and again, Speaker McCarthy has proven that he is not a man of his word. He is simply not trustworthy," Kuster said.

"While Republicans have lost their way, Democrats stand united in our purpose and our Caucus. ... New Dems are proud to stand with our Leader and our Caucus to deliver progress for the American people, not chaos," she added.

14h ago / 4:12 PM UTC

What's next as Gaetz moves to oust McCarthy?

14h ago / 4:12 PM UTC

House will vote today on Gaetz’s push to topple McCarthy as speaker

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Taking his critics head on, a defiant Speaker Kevin McCarthy told rank-and-file Republicans in a private meeting that he would call a vote Tuesday afternoon on Rep. Matt Gaetz’s resolution to oust him from the speaker’s office, according to lawmakers leaving the meeting.

“He’s going to stand on his record, and then we’re going to vote his retention on his record,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, a McCarthy ally and fellow California Republican, as he left the closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol.

Under House rules, McCarthy had until Wednesday to take up the resolution that Gaetz, a conservative Florida Republican and Donald Trump loyalist, filed Monday night. But McCarthy and his allies are moving to rip off the Band-Aid and quickly take on the so-called motion to vacate, which has been a huge distraction in the Capitol.

Read the full story here.